Yesterday was a total joke, and I still can’t stop laughing. It was a joke from start to finish. First of all, when the FBI sets up a press conference, they do it right. It is announced hours ahead of time, with a teaser as to the subject content. Yesterday’s joke was set up about […]
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) indicated on Sunday that his committee may subpoena intelligence officials, following Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's announcement...
John Ratcliffe is another one of Donald Trump’s henchmen, who in any kind of a sane or normal administration would not have a job that he is so woefully unqualified for. Ratcliffe made a move today that was audacious and bold, and unfortunately underscores the fact that Trump knows he is losing this election, and […]
This is a day of historical significance. It marks the end of the intelligence community as an independent arm of our government. The Trump-enthralled, GOP-led Senate confirmed the nomination of John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence, a move which is technically illegal, first and foremost. Federal law dictates, “Any individual nominated for appointment as Director of National Intelligence shall have extensive national security expertise.” Ratcliffe doesn’t even come close. Of all of the confirmations that this corrupt kangaroo court of a Senate has rubber-stamped, this is the most egregiious of all. Ratcliffe will now head all 17 intelligence agencies in the country which comprise the intelligence community and be in charge of preparing the top secret President’s Daily Brief — not that it matters, Trump doesn’t read it. Ratcliffe’s confirmation was the textbook definition of partisan politicization, and another glaring indicator, if another one was needed, that the Senate needs to be taken out of GOP hands. The Republican majority all voted for Ratcliffe, enabling him to now carry out his work as Trump hatchet man, which he intends to do. Ratcliffe has called for investigation into the Obama administration, into Hillary Clinton, and into Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s attack on the 2016 election. This is the template for the 2020 election. Trump had lunch with GOP senators on Tuesday. Trump urged GOP senators to stay unified and play offense by taking the political fight to Democrats, repeating to them his accusation that senior Obama administration officials tried to sabotage his campaign and incoming administration in 2016 and 2017. He sought to assuage their concerns about polls showing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a healthy lead in key states by emphasizing the enthusiasm advantage he has among base voters. That’s the plan, do one hell of a smear campaign on Obama, and the Democratic establishment, and the crazy base will eat up all the conspiracy theory and carry the day. And that’s precisely where John Ratcliffe comes in. Daily Beast: Ratcliffe’s official, verified campaign Twitter account follows several accounts on the political fringe, including a 9/11 truther account with just one follower besides himself and four promoting the outlandish QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that the world is run by a cabal of Democratic pedophile-cannibals—and has been ruled a potential source of domestic terrorism by the FBI. The conspiracy theorists followed by Ratcliffe, whose nomination for director of national intelligence goes before the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday morning, cover a bizarre range of beliefs. They posit that John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his death to help Trump to take down the Deep State. Others claim a Democratic sex dungeon exists in in a Washington pizzeria. But Ratcliffe and the QAnon promoters he follows have one thing in common: utter loyalty to Trump. Even before Ratcliffe’s QAnon interest was known, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a committee member, told The Daily Beast, “Congressman Ratcliffe is a partisan politician who has spent the last two years promoting conspiracy theories in defense of Donald Trump.” #Qanon #WWG1WGA #POTUS #patriots #children #woke @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/xZAAKfzRqL — GalvestonGuru ???? (@RoxannBentsen) February 1, 2019 This is the level of fruit fly that is now in charge of national intelligence. And the 49 Republican senators who voted for him to assume a position for which he is totally unqualified will sleep just fine tonight. Veteran intelligence officials expressed alarm […]
Life in Washington these days is definitely a bad reality TV show, no question about it. Characters that have proven unsuccessful when first tried out are now coming back for a second debut — as if anything has changed. And unexpected plot twists are always welcome, such as the one Donald Trump has possibly planned for Richard Grenell. There’s a lot of speculation that John Ratcliffe is being used merely as a place saver, so Trump can do an end run around the rules and keep Grenell around. Read on. You probably remember all the frou frou last summer about Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe being nominated for Director of National Intelligence and the nomination being uniformly laughed out of the Senate, loudest of all by his Republican colleagues, Richard Burr among them. His inflated resume did not fly and in disgrace Ratcliffe withdrew his nomination, but now he’s back and nothing has changed. Chuck Schumer’s comment summarizes the situation neatly. Replacing one highly partisan operative with another does nothing to keep America safe When Putin is interfering in our elections—we need a nonpartisan leader at the helm of the Intel Community who speaks truth to power Neither Richard Grenell nor Rep Ratcliffe comes even close pic.twitter.com/PXYxiQg7Ob — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 28, 2020 But is this the real story? The New York Times points out, Ratcliffe’s nomination might be a smoke screen, so Trump can keep Grenell on board. But just nominating Mr. Ratcliffe creates a benefit for the White House: Once Mr. Trump sends formal nomination papers to the Senate, it will extend the time the current acting director, Mr. Grenell, a favorite of Mr. Trump’s, can remain in the office. And in the minds of some Democrats, that was the president’s goal at a time when he is seeking to impose greater control over the nation’s intelligence agencies after years of tension that started with the intelligence community’s consensus that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Mr. Grenell can serve in his post only until March 11 unless the president formally nominates someone else for the job. Under that law, Mr. Grenell would be able to stay an additional 210 days once Mr. Ratcliffe is nominated. Should the Senate reject Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. Grenell’s tenure would be extended again. This is something to take a look at and ponder, definitely. But either way that this goes, if Ratcliffe is rubber stamped by the Senate or if it’s a ploy to keep Grenell on board, the bottom line is that the intelligence community and the rule of law both suffer. With either of these two characters, Grenell or Racliffe in charge, the intelligence community would be in Trump’s pocket and greatly hamstrung from doing it’s normal job. This is especially important as the election approaches and pal Putin gears up his efforts to create chaos. The timing on this is not coincidental.
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